Tajik killer of Western tourists sentenced to life
November 21 2018 01:48 PM
Jay Austin (L) and  Lauren Geoghegan-
Jay Austin (L) and Lauren Geoghegan- the killed cycling tourists

AFP/Dushanbe

A court in Tajikistan on Wednesday sentenced an Islamic State jihadist to life in prison for organising an attack this summer that killed four Western tourists, a judicial source said.
Hussein Abdusamadov, 33, was convicted on several charges including terrorism, a court representative told AFP, over the killings of the American, Dutch and Swiss cycling tourists.
The victims were struck by a car in July as they cycled back from the remote Pamir Highway, a popular route among tourists, before being set upon with knives and firearms.
Four of Abdusamadov's accomplices were killed by police during a manhunt.
The incident was first reported as a hit-and-run but later claimed by IS, which released a video showing what it said was a pledge of allegiance by the five men.
Tajik authorities have played down the video, instead blaming a former opposition party. 
Abdusamadov had already confessed to killing American cycling tourists Lauren Geoghegan and Jay Austin, Dutch citizen Rene Wokke and Swiss citizen Markus Hummel.
One Dutch and one Swiss citizen survived the attack while a French cyclist escaped unscathed. 
The attack dealt a deep blow to Tajikistan's efforts to promote the authoritarian country as a tourism hotspot.



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